Niels Arestrup

Blu-ray Review: Lavish Set For Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’

War Horse

CHICAGO – Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” is a well-intentioned and well-made film that nonetheless comes off as a major disappointment both in the context of the filmography of one of our most important filmmakers and the potential of the storytelling here. It’s a technically strong film and so its strengths are amplified by HD and the Blu-ray includes a healthy quantity of special features but the movie is a disappointment.

Blu-ray Review: Mélusine Mayance Mesmerizes in ‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sometimes one performance can bolster the impact of an entire production. That’s certainly the case with Gilles Paquet-Brenner’s overlooked adaptation of Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestseller. Though the picture’s marquee name is Kristin Scott Thomas, her character merely provides a modern framework for the real story, set during the massive 1942 deportation of Jewish civilians from France.

Film Review: ‘Sarah’s Key’ Unlocks the Ever-Present Past

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – The old saying, “those who cannot remember the past is doomed to repeat it” applies succinctly in “Sarah’s Key,” a Holocaust film with a French twist. Kristin Scott Thomas plays an American journalist who uncovers the facts in a less-remembered incident that reverberates to now.

Interview: Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner Opens the Door With ‘Sarah’s Key’

Sarah's Key

CHICAGO – For every instance of “monumental” history, there are a series of events surrounding it that gets swept under the rug, but have the same bearing as the bigger occurrence. Director Gilles Paquet-Brenner tells one of those background stories in “Sarah’s Key,” a sorrowful piece of French history during World War II.

Blu-Ray Review: French Drama ‘A Prophet’ Demands Your Attention

CHICAGO – One of the best films of the last several years was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics in the riveting, remarkable, and simply amazing “A Prophet.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Offer, The

    CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Dan Baker on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on May 5th, reviewing the new miniseries “The Offer,” about the creation of the classic film “The Godfather,” currently streaming on Paramount+.

  • Murder on Horizon

    CHICAGO – Time to get back to live stage shows! The Otherworld Theatre of Chicago (Wrigleyville Neighborhood) presents an immersive sci-fi experience – AKA audience participation – on a space station, enticingly titled “Murder on Horizon.” The audience is part of solving the mystery as a futuristic gumshoe goes from suspect to suspect to find the killer of a prominent scientist.

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